Stone, Peter

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STONE, PETER (1930–2003), U.S. movie and theater writer. Born in Los Angeles, Stone went to Bard College in New York State and earned a master's degree from the Yale School of Drama. After a stint in journalism, he turned to writing for television. In 1956 he wrote an episode for the highly regarded Studio One series. He earned an Emmy award for a 1962 episode of The Defenders, a series about a father-son team of lawyers who often delved into social issues. In the early 1960s he wrote a movie script that was rejected all over Hollywood until he turned it into a novel. Hollywood beckoned, so he turned it back into a screenplay that became the 1963 movie Charade, starring Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn. He won an Oscar the following year for his reprise with Grant, Father Goose. Subsequent film thrillers, Mirage (1965) and Arabesque (1966), were not so successful. Stone became known for his adaptations. In 1969 he adapted for the screen the Broadway musical Sweet Charity. For nbc television he adapted George Bernard Shaw's Androcles and the Lion (1967), and Billy Wilder's Some Like It Hot for Broadway as the musical Sugar (1972), as well as the novel The Taking of Pelham One, Two, Three for the screen (1974). Stone had been asked years earlier to write a Broadway musical about the Founding Fathers. By the late 1960s, he decided Americans could use a history lesson wrapped in a different package. The result was 1776, an unlikely hit that told of the days leading up to the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which won him one of his three Tony awards. He was nominated six times for Tonys and won three, scoring on Broadway with the Lauren *Bacall musical Woman of the Year (1981) and Titanic (1997). He later worked sporadically in film, with his credits including Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? (1978), adapted from a novel. A much-respected craftsman, show doctor, and wit, Stone had legions of friends in Hollywood and New York and was the uncredited collaborator on dozens of major film and theatrical productions.

[Stewart Kampel (2nd ed.)]